Friday, 28 November 2008
So now I've bought one of those stand alone hard drives and I shall backing everything up TWICE, what are the chances of 3 hard drives going at the same time do you think?
Speaking of forums, I read an interesting statement on a forum the other day. The website owner said "You can say whatever you want in this forum", not sure what prompted them to write that but it seems a bit of a strange statement, somewhat naive. What is it about the internet which makes people think it isn't governed my either everyday social rules or even the law.... of course you can't write what you want in a forum, and should you write anything which is libellous, racist, promotes hatred etc. it would be a very silly site owner who didn't take any action. Forums are great, I'm a member of at least 10, Craft Forums, animation forums and software forums but I like to think I behave in them no differently than I do in face to face meetings :-)
Friday, 10 October 2008
Should be much easier for me to keep update and a lot easier for people to find what they need quickly as this site has a search engine :-) Rather than go into details heres a link to a copy of the relevant newslette:
FREE CRAFT DOWNLOADS
Sunday, 5 October 2008
The rest of the blog is just going to be a bit of a moan.
I've never considered myself as a "conservative" (notice the small c) but two things have happened this weekend which may make me rethink.
Firstly they've destroyed one of my favourite websites, BBC Radio 7, obviously still love the station, who couldn't love all that SiFi, Sherlock Holmes, Hancocks Half hour etc etc ( if you've never listened then do give it a go) I even love some of literature they have on there. However they have managed to completely destroy the web site associated with it, they taken a nice, functional qwerky site and changed it to fit in the the corporate BBC look, worse still they have removed some of the best functionality and hidden the rest of it where it's difficult to find. Why change something which is working and people like. A quick glance at their message board (if yo can find it) shows you exactly what the users think.
To make matters worse I sat down with my youngest son today to watch the "Famous Five" on the Disney channel, we were looking forward to this as for the last couple of months we've been working through the first three of the Adventures for his bedtime story.... if you haven't seen this TV offering yet please don't, if you have the slightest memory of the books this TV series will make you cry. Dick has been renamed "Dylan", Ann is a cheer leader, Julian is "daft" and George, well george isn't a tomboy any more.... there's no sign of Uncle Quinton or unsurprisingly Aunte Fanny. The "HOUMOUR" (and there are lots of attempts at it) is along the lines of Scooby Doo, mostly based on the daft Julian, the air head Ann and, forgot to say,Dick (sorry Dylan) a money orientated nerd. Please give it a miss if you have fond memories of the books. I'm sure if it hadn't been named the Famous Five it would just have disappeared in to the mire of childrens TV... unfortunately some idiot decided to sell them the rights, you would have hopped that more care was taken with the legacy :-(
Well thats enough of my ramblings...nothing to do with crafts I know but the title of the blog does include the "and more" :-)
Saturday, 13 September 2008
The CD contain designs from some of the best known paper craft designers around, Alan and Barry, FeeJ, Jo Price, Sharon Duncan, Funky Hand, Andy Carolan, Diane Dorward and more. Over 450 design sheets (backing sheets, 8x8 papers, tbag designs, Inserts, etc) in a range of theams.
The designers have kindly donated their work for free, and the CD has been put together for free so all the profits from each CD will be going to the UK Rett Association.
You can buy the CD directly fro the Craft4Charity website, where you can see more details and the video introduction or from Alan and Barrys crafts (shortly) or FeeJ Designs.
Please tell your friends, we obviously want to raise as much money as possible from this worthwhile cause.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Well coming in September is a Charity CD from www.craft4charity.co.uk with no less than 8 different designers.
Alan and Barry, Sharon Duncan, FeeJ Designs, Andy Carolan, Diane Dorward, Backing Paper for Free, Funky Hand and Jo Price Designs have all contributed to make this a most exciting disc. Full details are to follow but register on the CRaft4Charity Website if you would like to be informed when the CD is available.
All the money raised from the CD will be going to the
(FeeJ Designs have offered to have the Disc on their stand at the NEC in November, so if you want to save on postage that will be the place to get it. Rumour has it she will be having a "special guest" on her stand as well on at least one of the days so it should be well worth a look!)
Sunday, 13 July 2008
- Paper Crafts
- “Lowest Common denominator crafting”
Monday, 23 June 2008
So what's changed... well mainly what you're looking at now, the internet.
Is it a bargain? No need to take the presenters word for it, a quick google search will most likely find exactly the same product ..... better still a price comparison site will find you a lowest price around. Remember the sites selling these items don't have the overheads which the shopping channels do; no studios, camera crews, production staff, editing equipment etc etc.
So now people are watching the demonstrations on the TV and then buying on the net, great news for the Internet retailers but a big problem for the shopping channels. Their only answer is to try and sell "exclusives" which isn't always possible.
Of course they could always try a bit of price fixing, they do have a fair bit of power over the suppliers but then that would be illegal, wouldn't it ;-)
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
However the craft CD market is now facing new competition: firstly from sites providing immediate downloads of backing papers and decoupage sheets AND from sites giving away free paper crafting resources.
Just flick through Free Craft Stuff and you will will find 1,000s of free craft downloads , mostly made by gifted ammutuer designers. If you want free backing paper then Backing Papers for Free has 100's. Other sites do templates, T-bag sheets, decoupage sheets, tags and labels, almost everything you could want for your paper crafting. So will Craft CDs survive, I suspect the answer is yes for the foreseeable future (although they will slowly turn into Craft DVDs) because people enjoy collecting their favourite designer and it much easier to pick a CD up off the side than go searching on the internet where there is always a chance of getting sidelined on other things :-)
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
QVC had sold crafts for a long time with Dawn Bibby being the anchor but it wasn't until Alan and Barry from Rainbow Glass arrived at Ideal World that things really took off. Some people loved watching them, others didn't enjoy their sense of humour at all :-) Whatever, it was down to them that Ideal World joined the Craft Market with a vengeance, launching the Create and Craft channel and later the Create and Craft Club
After leaving leaving Ideal World Alan and Barry went on to develop their own Website, now, in addition to presenting on JML and Channel 648 they also produce daily live shows on the internet.
So there's the quick history BUT has this been a good thing?
On the positive side:
- There are now lots of craft demos to be seen even if most of them lean heavily on "the sell"
- It has definitely driven down prices (although this would probably have happened as the Internet became more popular anyway) 10 years ago most peel offs were £1 a sheet in many shops and at the NEC. In the last 10 years the prices have dropped remarkably.
- It has brought many more people into crafts, attracting a lot of people who through disability or location are unable to get to craft classes.
- Shopping Channels would have you believe that paper crafts were the bee all and end all of crafting. Paper Crafts: card making, decoupage, scrap booking etc are obviously a cash cow for the shopping channels and they are going to milk it for every penny they can get.
- The quality of some of the items sold on these channels can be a bit suspect and they aren't always as cheap as they like to make you believe.
- They are driving some of the smaller craft shops out of business... leaving us with just papercraft suppliers rather than real craft shops run by craft enthusiasts.
- They have a very simplistic idea of crafts, the American "stick A to B" style of crafting. They don't try and sell crafts or techniques which are difficult or take time to learn as they only want to sell stuff everybody can do irrespective of time, ability and talent. If it can't be demonstrated in 60 seconds then they aren't interested (OK that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I still believe it's based in the truth)
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Sadly the first thing to report on is the suspension of the Arts and Crafts Direct Forum. A message on the site says
"The forum has been suspended until further notice due to inappropriate use."
I wasn't actually a member of this particular forum but I have been a member of two others which have been closed down because of "in fighting". The fact that this seems to happen fairly often begs quite a few questions.... this time the forum was obviously closed because of arguments over the "My Craft Studio" software and whether or not it does what it should, if it was released too early and whether people who previously bought the software should get an apology. I can't really comment on the specifics of this case because I have never tried the software but for me it raises wider issues:
1. Should commercial sites have forums (or is it just asking for trouble). Should forums just be run by "independent sites ( shoppingtelly.com, craft.co.uk, www.craftsforum.co.uk.
2. If it is on a commercial site should it be seen as integral part of the site run by the owners or a service run by the owners for their users.
3. Is a companies forum the correct place for customer complaints, is any forum owner going to leave them there? Can any customer who can't seem to get an answer elsewhere resist putting a message in the forum :-)
4. What should a forum owner do about "inter forum flame wars"
5. What should a forum owner do about criticisms of competitors or a competitors product in their forum.
No doubt the Craft Forums will continue but it does seem sad that people who take no part in a particular argument / thread loose the facility of a forum altogether. Sometimes I don't think these companies realise how "stuck on" a forum people can get... its where they meet their friends, swap stories and even get support. Removing that without warning could be remarkably upsetting. Too many companies seem to think they can tag a forum onto their site and then forget it or hand the responsibility of it to some poor volunteer who then has to manage with little support.
We shall wait and see if Art and CRaft Direct decide to bring theirs back.